"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Manga | More than 2.5 million copies of the English-language editions of Attack on Titan in print, Kodansha USA announced earlier this month at Anime Expo. Although that may seem like a lot, there are more than 44 million copies of the same 15 volumes of Hajime Isayama’s post-apocalyptic manga in print in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun estimates the U.S. comics market as one-fifth the size of the Japanese market. [The Asahi Shimbun]
Passings | Bill Garner, the editorial cartoonist for The Washington Times from 1983 to 2009, has died at age 79. Garner was born in Texas and attended the Texas School of Fine Arts, then went to the University of Texas at Austin for one year. He served in the Army from 1956 to 1962, then went to work as an illustrator for The Washington Star. His editor there suggested he try his hand at cartooning, and it took. He moved on to become the editorial cartoonist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where in 1981 he won a National Headliner Award. His best-known cartoon is one he drew for the Times shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, showing a tank with the bumper sticker “Saddam Happens” driving over a sand dune. [The Washington Times]
Creators | Isabel Greenberg has announced she’s working on a “sort-of” sequel to The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, her British Comic Award-winning debut graphic novel. She also posted her new comic Dreadful Wind and Rain, which is being published as a limited edition by Gosh! Comics, and will be included in her follow-up to Early Earth. [Isabel Greenberg, via Digital Spy]
Manga | Yen Press associate editor and letterer Abigail Blackman talks about her job: “I see that the editor has a twofold obligation – to the original creator and to the reader. I think everyone in the process has to be most careful of not imposing his or her own sensibilities onto the material. I and Yen feel very strongly about preserving the meaning and intent of the original and making sure it translates clearly to the reader. It’s so easy for a rewriter to get carried away with his or her own voice, or for a letterer to get too cutesy with the fonts and placing emphasis.” [Organization Anti-Social Geniuses]
Modesty Blaise, the tough young adventuress with a criminal past, is the creation of writer Peter O’Donnell and artist Jim Holdaway, but before Holdaway came on board the gig originally went to Frank Hampson, creator of British space hero Dan Dare. According to the Hampson website, he turned in his pages weeks late with no reason for the delay, and O’Donnell wasn’t at all happy with them. O’Donnell said that Hampson “totally misunderstood the character.”
As you can see from the samples (that’s Hampson’s above and you can see Holdaway’s version of the same panels below; there are many more comparisons on the Hampson site), Hampson’s version of Modesty Blaise was softer and prettier than what Holdaway eventually created. While her appearance could have made an interesting contrast with the way she talked and her ruthless character, O’Donnell wanted her to look as tough as she was. He recommended Holdaway, with whom he’d collaborated on Romeo Brown, and the rest is history. Continue Reading »
Britain’s Royal Mail is releasing a set of 10 stamps today featuring a diverse group of comics characters from British comics. They’re available to those outside the U.K. as well and feature internationally famous characters like Judge Dredd and Dan Dare in addition to less-known folks like Roy Race and The Four Marys. There’s also a Dennis the Menace in the set (he’s the one appearing in front of the Beano comic), but don’t confuse him with the U.S. character created by Hank Ketcham. Though both characters debuted within a week of each other in March 1951, they’re different boys.
To see the full gallery of stamps, visit the BBC website.
The second day of Comic-Con International, which began with the official word of Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game, concluded with the presentation of the 22nd annual Eisner Awards and news of a feature-film adaptation of Will Eisner’s landmark graphic novel A Contract with God.
In between, there were plenty of other comics announcements:
• During DC’s “Batman: The Return” panel, Grant Morrison revealed he and artist Yanick Paquette will launch Batman, Inc., an ongoing series that will see Bruce Wayne joined by a number of other characters wearing the mantle of the Bat. CBR TV spoke with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio about the new title.
• In the “DC Nation Special Edition” panel, Geoff Johns revealed plans for a second ongoing Flash series titled Flash: Speed Force, which will focus on the other speedsters of the DC Universe. DiDio also said the publisher will begin reprinting Young Justice material in October.
• Top Shelf unveiled plans to publish Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots Two, five new graphic novels for kids (plus new volumes of Korgi and Owly), Kagan McLeod’s Infinite Kung Fu, and Jess Fink’s Chester 5000 XYV collection. The publisher also previewed a page from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #2 — 1969.